On Thursday, Michael Grunditz started a new thread on the RISC OS Open forums, titled “First post from Tinker Board (RK3288)” and a very simple opening post:
“Worth a separate post!
Posting with NetSurf from my new port! 🙂
Yesterday was Pi Day, a name reflecting that if you write your dates in either Overpuddlian form (mm-dd-yyyy) or as specified by ISO 8601 (yyyy-mm-dd) – in both cases ignoring the year – you get 3-14, which sort of looks like Pi to two decimal places if you squint a bit so that the dash looks like a decimal point. A fitting day, then, for the Raspberry Pi Foundation to release another version of its credit card-sized computer: A ‘+’ version of the Raspberry Pi 3 model B.
The most notable change for day to day use are that while the Pi 3B+ sports the same processor as the Pi 3, the ARM Cortex-A53, it’s running at a higher speed – 1.4GHz rather than 1.2GHz. Another notable change is that it also features Gigabit Ethernet over USB 2.0, compared with the previous 100 megabit, support for power over ethernet (via a separate HAT device). Hopefully, RISC OS will soon be updated so that it can be used on the new Pi.
CE are family… I’ve got all my versions with me!
Benefiting from the latest in 3D printing technology, the snazzy looking CE (which stands for Compact Edition) consists of a base unit which comes in three variations – one for RISC OS users, and one for users of other operating systems, and one especially for the retro gaming community.
This was going to be a news nybble, but two paragraphs weren’t nearly enough!
A couple of years ago Tom Williamson of Ident Computer brought his Raspberry Pi-based kit computer, the Micro One, to the world of RISC OS – and in February he will be unveiling a follow-up system, the Ident Compact Edition, or Ident CE for short1.
An extra wide, 256 colour display!
With two DVI-I sockets on board, one of the selling points of Elesar‘s Titanium is the ability to drive two displays side by side. RISC OS doesn’t (properly) support this, but it can be done by fooling the operating system into treating the two screens as though they are one. The software to do this has been available since February 2016.
Much more recently, an updated ROM image was released in July of this year that allowed the board to use 256 colour screen modes – which might sound odd to make a point of with modern systems (including the Titanium) capable of running with 16 million colour displays, but there is some older software that actually needs to run in screen modes with a more limited colour depth; so called “paletted” modes.
For any discerning RISC OS user who has a Pi-Top – whether bought from 4D as the Pi-TopRO, or elsewhere as just the Pi-Top – one thing obviously missing from the product is any kind of branding to make it a distinctively RISC OS laptop. RISCOSbits‘ Andy Marks has now come up with the solution.
The Pi-based laptop features a slide-out panel between the keyboard and hinges, and RISCOSbits can now supply a RISC OS branded acrylic slice for the that fits neatly in place of the original strip on the v1 Pi-Top. The branding takes the form of a large cog that sits at the right hand edge of the strip, just above the trackpad. Currently available via eBay, the strip costs £11.50 plus £2.50 postage and packing.
Hats off to Elesar – and on to the Raspberry Pi, since this is a HAT!
Details are now available about Elesar Ltd‘s mystery product that was expected to be launched at the London Show – the S&P HAT for the Raspberry Pi. A HAT is a standard for Raspberry Pi expansion boards, and is an acronym that expands to ‘Hardware Attached on Top’, while the S&P part comes from Elesar, and stands for ‘Serial and Parallel’. In other words, it’s an add-on board for the Pi that provides the credit card sized computer with two additional ways to connect external devices – a 25 pin parallel port, and a 9 pin RS232 serial port.
The card is priced at £38.40 including VAT, with postage on top – but until noon today, you have the option of ordering it for collection at the London Show if you’re planning a visit, along with anything else Elesar sells (and currently has in stock).
My calculator doesn’t seem to like that calculation, but it’s definitely right.
Following last month’s offer of five games for the price of none when purchasing a Titanium motherboard, October sees another piece of software up for grabs from Elesar Ltd when purchasing their flagship product. This time, the offer is for a free full copy of RISC OS Open Ltd‘s Desktop Development Environment. The DDE (which is how it’s known to its friends) is normally priced at £50 including VAT, and includes a C compiler, ARM assembler, GUI resource editor, and more.
To take advantage of the offer, simply pop along to the Elesar Ltd shop page, and on the Titanium + RISC OS product page click on the ‘EH-008-9’ link in the product description to reach the bundle product page, and order from there – and when the product arrives and you’ve put the board in a suitable case, etc, get programming for RISC OS!
The problem with needing both a Windows or MacOS computer system as well as a RISC OS one is space – two computers take up more valuable space on your desk than just one. A good emulation of one that works on the other is a neat solution to this, because it means you can have just the one computer, but reap the benefits of both platforms.
This has always been where VirtualRiscPC has shown its worth, offering a very strong and just about seamless emulation of the RiscPC computer. R-Comp have long since recognised this, and provide Windows computers with the emulator installed and ready to use as standard, in the form of their RISCube range.
Modern RISC OS systems tend to come equipped with a number of USB ports, one of which is normally used to connect the mouse to the computer.
However, this wasn’t always the case – USB was first introduced in the mid-1990s, and the Acorn Archimedes first appeared in 1987; Acorn didn’t have the option of USB, and instead designed the Archimedes, RiscPC, and all the variants, to use a quadrature mouse.
The BBC Micro, of course, is an older computer again and in its case, if you had a mouse, it was probably connected via the user port.